Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Romney Best One to Solve Michigan's Problems

Romney vows to aid car industry

By: Deb Price
Detroit News

"Saying he's seeking the gold medal in today's high-stakes presidential primary, Republican Mitt Romney made his final sales pitch Monday, stressing his Michigan roots, family ties to the auto industry and business experience. "At the Detroit Economic Club, the Bloomfield Hills native and son of former Gov. George Romney said one of his top priorities as president would be the auto industry.

"'If I am president, I will not rest until Michigan is back. Michigan can once again lead the world's automotive industry,' said Romney, 59, the former governor of Massachusetts who left Michigan decades ago for college. "Swamped by journalists, Romney later toured the North American International Auto Show, where he inspected such cars as Chrysler LLC's Jeep Renegade and ecoVoyager, and the Dodge ZEO."
"Romney focused on that concern, saying he would tackle the auto industry's troubles in his first 100 days in office. He also blasted federal regulations and taxes that hurt automakers – as well as increased fuel efficiency standards that President Bush recently signed into law. "'From legacy costs, to health care costs, to increased (fuel economy) standard costs, to the cost of embedded taxes, Detroit can only thrive if Washington is an engaged partner, not a disinterested observer,' he said.

"'This is what I have done all my life – take on complex situations, lead tough negotiations, find solutions, and get things back on track,' he said. "While saying he wasn't proposing a bailout, Romney proposed a five-fold increase – to $20 billion – in federal funding for energy research, fuel technology, materials science, and automotive technology. "He vowed to get rid of burdensome regulations, taxes and litigation costs that hurt automakers and other businesses. He said he would work on 'legacy' health care costs, but didn't offer details." ...

"Keith Albertie, 36, a vice president of a petroleum company in Romulus, said he had been undecided before the speech between Romney and Mike Huckabee. But Romney persuaded him he would best solve Michigan's problems.
"'It's all about Mitt now,' he said. 'There was so much energy and positive ideas in his speech.'"...